If you’re a traveler who’s looking for more in your next vacation than some well-worn city streets or a tourist trap that’s masquerading as a beach or mountain trail, then consider Oman, home to one of the Arabian Peninsula’s most gorgeous natural landscapes. The quiet, unspoiled country located right on the Arabian Sea offers a wide variety of options to visitors on any kind of budget. If recent news reports have you nervous about traveling anywhere with “Arabian” in the title of the location, then you haven’t got acquainted with Oman, one of the region’s safest and most tourist-friendly countries. There are tons of reasons to take a journey to this beautiful country, no matter what kind of traveler you are.
1. Terrorism Isn’t a Thing in Oman
Terrorism — the scourge of nations throughout the entire planet — has had literally zero impact in Oman. There has never been a terrorist attack in the country.
2. The Omani People Love Them Some Americans
Unlike some other countries in the region, Oman is a legit friend of the United States, and it’s been that way for more than 200 years.
3. The Country Has a Portuguese Influence
In spite of the fact that the two nations are nearly 5,000 miles apart over land, at one point in the late fifteenth century, Portuguese sailors conquered the Omani people for more than a century.
4. Crime Is Pretty Darn Rare, Too
Violent crime in Oman is so rare as to be inconsequential. The most likely type of incident travelers would encounter is petty theft, so make sure to put your wallet somewhere safe. That’s literally it, though.
5. Oman Is a Pepsi Country
For whatever reason, Pepsi is way more common in Oman than Coca-Cola. Mountain Dew is extremely popular in Oman to the extent that some people call it, “Omani-Alcohol.”
6. It Can Be as Cheap or as Expensive as You Want it to Be
Oman operates on the Omani Rial, one of which is about $2.60 US Dollars. That said, a full meal can cost you anywhere from one to fifty rials depending on how much cash you have to spend. The country is also filled with tons of hotels of varying luxury. Oman is very happy to have travelers come visit.
7. You’re Going to Want to Travel There While You Can
Not because of any political turmoil, but because Oman is a secret treasure that’s not going to be a secret much longer. In spite of the fact that the country ship 900,000 barrels of oil, tourism is rapidly gaining ground as people discover the country’s unique splendor.
8. There Is No Income Tax
Omanis have to pay for social security, but that’s it.
9. Oman Is One of the Oldest Consistently Inhabited Places on Earth
Any history nerds in the crowd? If so, you’ll love the rich cultural history of Oman, which has seen continuous human habitation for the last 106,000 years.
10. The Country Has a Reputation for Breeding Exquisite Horses
Omani horses have an international reputation for beauty and quality.
11. Oman Has Only One Public University
It’s called Sultan Qaboos University and it has more than 15,000 students. The student body is divided almost evenly between men and women.
12. Don’t Worry About Tipping
Like a lot of European countries, service workers in Oman get paid a decent amount. Tipping isn’t even required in cabs.
13. You Have to Get a License to Drink in Oman
Tourists can rest assured that beer and liquor are on at hand in hotels and restaurants with a proper license, however, private citizens need to obtain a personal license in order to drink in their home.
14. Oman Is One of the Most Stable Countries in the Region
The country is an absolute monarchy that’s ruled by a line of hereditary sultans reaching back to the early 1700s. The country briefly split into two regions in 1913, but since that wrinkle was ironed out, the reigning monarchy regained control. Currently the country is governed by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, the Arab world’s longest reigning monarch.
15. Sultan Qaboos Deposed His Father
Qaboos’ intention was to modernize the countries infrastructure and bring Oman out of its self-imposed isolation.
16. Sultan Qaboos Also Gave His People the Right to Vote
It’s not democracy, or even a representative monarchy, but Qaboos has certainly teased the idea of giving his people a larger say in the government’s proceedings, and that right has been given to men and women alike.
17. Go in the Winter
Unless you like 120 degree temps …
18. Homosexuality Is Illegal in Oman
It may or may not be worth noting that Oman is an Islamic country, and as a result, they have a pretty draconic outlook on some fairly hot button social issues. For example, it’s illegal to be gay, possess porn, or imbibe anything harder than booze.
19. Oman Has Bazaars that Ban All Men
Oman is the only country in the Middle East that has created bazaars which only allow women. The products on offer range from crafts to spices to jewelry, the only constant is that men aren’t allowed to hang around.
20. There’s a Lot of White on the Buildings in Oman
Regulations in Oman are so common that residents have to obtain special permission to paint there house any color except one. White. That’s why the country has so many white buildings.